Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Some made- for-TV tricks or treats to savor for Halloween flavor

We're this close to Halloween,which happens to fall on a week day this year instead of a weekend, and there are as many ways to anticipate it as there are varieties of candy to be handed out that night.

However, like those sugary delights, not all of them are going to be everyone's favorite seasonal sweet. Sure, there are the traditional treats such as It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, whatever Treehouse of Horror the Simpsons are up to and clip shows like Disney's Halloween Treat, that are enjoyable holiday standards but what is fresh and new,or at least inviting, for today?

Let's take a look and see what can sweetly or scarily shake loose for your Halloween pleasure, small screen style:

MICHAEL JACKSON'S HALLOWEEN: A hour long animated special featuring the music of the late iconic pop star is set to air on October 27 and frankly, I'm not sure who the target audience is for this.

Check out the plot synopsis: "The special follows millennials Vincent (Lucas Till) and Victoria (Kiersey Clemons), who meet “accidentally” on Halloween night and find themselves, along with Ichabod the dog, at a mysterious hotel located at 777 Jackson Street called This Place Hotel. Once inside, Vincent and Victoria are sent on an unexpected, magical adventure of personal discovery, culminating in a spectacular dance finale featuring an animated Michael Jackson."

Okay,I repeat-who is this for?! Yes, it's animated but since the leads are seemingly of legal age, it doesn't sound like it's for kids(which would bring about a whole slew of other issues but let's not go there). Is it for Michael Jackson fans? My best guess is that those folks would be happier replaying the Thriller video.

This project looks and sounds like a musical version of those Hotel Transylvania cartoon flicks, which is not a compliment, trust me. Sure, there's a certain nostalgia for Jackson's music yet this special feels incredibly carbon dated and I suspect that most of the audience tuning in will be ready to mock along than rock along:

SNL DAVID S. PUMPKINS SPECIAL: There's no question about who is this half hour holiday animated show is for, given that it's premiere will be at 11:30 this upcoming Saturday night.

Not much has been revealed about the special, other than Tom Hanks will be vocally reprising his role as the odd Halloween mascot, along with SNL regular Mikey Day(and former SNL alum Bobby Moyinhan), plus Peter Dinklage, who was not part of the original skit but is a fellow SNL host. That's just as well, since the weird randomness of the whole bit is what made this character work like a strange charm in the first place:

FOOD NETWORK: Say what you will about this cable channel devoted to edibles, they do know how to throw a culinary seasonal celebration up right.

From competition series like Halloween Wars(where pumpkin carvers,bakers and candy makers create amazing scary food dioramas) to the Halloween Baking Championship and themed episodes of regular shows such as Chopped, this holiday is well represented here. To be fair, their sister network,Cooking Channel,has a few Halloween items on their media menu as well, but mainly it's mostly former FN fare.

Apart from the Halloween competitions, I do love the Chopped Halloweens the best. Seeing either the assigned chefs or the judge tackle a mystery basket that's full of stranger things than usual is just good fun(not sure if it's good eating but perhaps with the right chef....):

I'm sure there will be other Halloween shows on the TV horizon as the day draws nearer but the one that most folks are excited for is the second season of Stranger Things, debuting on Friday,Oct 27.

I held out as long as I could from seeing the "final" trailer yet with the show less than two days away, the temptation was too great to refuse. I don't feel spoiled for the season, more like having an extra dollop of suspense syrup added to my order for a sequel sundae.

 Some Halloween treats are better when savored slowly but others are meant to be devoured quickly and ST2 is one of those that you have to do a bit of both to truly enjoy. Happy Halloween watching, fellow fiends!:

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